Re-New to Crabbing!

Please post here if you are a new crab owner and someone will be along shortly to welcome you to the HCA! This is also the place to welcome new crabbies to your clan!
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Meznuraie
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Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by Meznuraie » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:52 am

We had a couple of crabs when I was a kid, so I'm not exactly completely brand new... but this is my first time owning them as an adult, so I guess that counts.

I live in QLD, Australia. It's currently early spring, so the weather is cool, but not cold.

I got 5 middle size (approx 2 inch) crabs mid-august, who all decided that the new tank was perfect for moulting, and promptly dug deep and buried themselves. A week later I decided to get 3 more small ones (approx half inch) so I'd have something to look at, and at worst would have them disappear for a week or two... and they've now also dug down.

In the 3 foot tank I've got a 5:1 playsand:coir mix (they seem to enjoy munching on the coir) and I put a half inch layer of volcanic rock for water absorption underneath to help keep the sand moist. For decoration, I've got fishtank-suitable branches with air plants hot-melt glued on, and a couple of other moist-liking plants.

Salt water pond on one side, fresh on the other.

I don't have any food in at the moment, as there has been absolutely no activity for about a week and a half (no mounds, no footprints, no holes), and i didn't want to waste it or attract ants etc.

I've been having problems with condensation, so I've ordered a fan to help with air circulation and evening out the temperature a bit better, as the warm air seems to sit up a bit high. Also waiting on a couple more thermometer/hygrometers, which i haven't been able to find locally. Any suggestions for placement?

For the UTH, i have a 20 watt one which covers most of the back wall. I've used a foam board used for insulation behind it to make sure the heat isn't wasted. The silver insulation tape has proven to be highly effective, especially when you need to move or adjust things. I find it boring to look at, though, so would i be able to use an aquarium backdrop between it and the tank?

How long before i start to get worried about them not surfacing? They were in a tank with about 1cm of substrate in it at the pet shop, so i can understand if they decided they were desperate to moult... but it's kinda boring, looking at an empty tank for weeks on end.

I'll probably think of more questions later, so here's a picture of the current setup!

Image

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Enson
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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by Enson » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:17 am

I'm gonna vent with you. Same boat. I've had two down for about 8 weeks. I bought two more and they are scared to death and won't come out unless the lights are completely off and no one is around.. the pet sand is a bit frustrating. That said, I feel terrible about the two I had as a kid that slowly suffocated in their critter keeper I kept them in when I didn't know any better. I want to give a few crabs a life of luxury compared to most captive crabs.

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curlysister
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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by curlysister » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:48 am

Don't start to worry for at least four months, maybe more, LOL.
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GotButterflies
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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:02 pm

Your decor looks stunning! :)

Condensation happens due to the difference in temps from the outside of the tank and the inside of the tank.

Even though your crabs are down, you should provide a small amount of food in the tank, for you never know when they will come back up, so you always want food available for them, as well as calcium.

Make sure you are using saltwater to make saltwater fishtanks, and not hermit crab bottled saltwater, that is not sufficient for them.

I know it is frustrating having "PET SAND" ;P But, it's pretty normal! Don't dig! They know what they are doing! :) Have patience! :)

I personally like my hygrometers up high, put having them placed all over is ideal :)
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Topic author
Meznuraie
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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by Meznuraie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:44 pm

One finally came up yesterday morning! I heard clicking against the tank, so I put some food in... then just after I went to bed, another came up... but it's gone down again now. They both sampled a couple of bits of food, but didn't seem very hungry.

I use hermit crab salt and mix it with dechlorinated water in an empty 2L softdrink bottle (makes measuring easy), and then put it into an empty 600mL softdrink bottle so it's easy to pour into the dish. I have arthritis in my hands, so holding onto heavy bottles is difficult.

Humidity is mostly around 77%, and temp is between 26 - 28C. I'm not sure if I'll need the heating pad in summer, as it gets pretty warm here.

Is there any good (cheap) source for shells? $9 each at shops or the ridiculous prices on amazon/ebay seem absurd...


Topic author
Meznuraie
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:33 am

Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by Meznuraie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:21 pm

I just discovered Naples from another post..... and just spent $30 on shells of all things.... haha

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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:07 pm

Meznuraie wrote:I just discovered Naples from another post..... and just spent $30 on shells of all things.... haha
Once you see how happy your crabs are with the new shells, you'll be excited about them too lol!

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Topic author
Meznuraie
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:33 am

Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by Meznuraie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:19 pm

CrabbyLover77 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:07 pm
Once you see how happy your crabs are with the new shells, you'll be excited about them too lol!
I found a bag of shells at a cheapie store, but they were all the same colour... I'm hoping they will like at least some of the new shells so i can start to tell them apart.

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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:25 pm

Meznuraie wrote: I found a bag of shells at a cheapie store, but they were all the same colour... I'm hoping they will like at least some of the new shells so i can start to tell them apart.
It's def better to tell them apart when they choose different shells. I try to take note of my crabs' eye, body, antennae, colors to help me identify them should they play musical chairs with their shells. Image

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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw

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GotButterflies
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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:21 pm

Meznuraie wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:44 pm
One finally came up yesterday morning! I heard clicking against the tank, so I put some food in... then just after I went to bed, another came up... but it's gone down again now. They both sampled a couple of bits of food, but didn't seem very hungry.

I use hermit crab salt and mix it with dechlorinated water in an empty 2L softdrink bottle (makes measuring easy), and then put it into an empty 600mL softdrink bottle so it's easy to pour into the dish. I have arthritis in my hands, so holding onto heavy bottles is difficult.

Humidity is mostly around 77%, and temp is between 26 - 28C. I'm not sure if I'll need the heating pad in summer, as it gets pretty warm here.

Is there any good (cheap) source for shells? $9 each at shops or the ridiculous prices on amazon/ebay seem absurd...
Hermit crab salt mix is not the right kind of salt for them. Unfortunately most products marketed for hermit crabs are not safe. A lot of us use a product called Instant Ocean which is what aquarium hobbyists use to make saltwater aquariums. It has the essential trace elements that hermit crabs need. :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
Meznuraie
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:33 am

Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by Meznuraie » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:52 am

Do they know not to let go when they're up high? I finally have 2 crabs out and about, and this one has decided to go for the highest point in the tank! I'm worried about it falling if it decides to hide in it's shell suddenly...

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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:29 am

Just try not to spook him. However, if he does happen to take a tumble, he'll probably be fine. I've walked in on my crabs, and had them tumble because they retracted in their shell when they saw me. They've always been ok. They're tougher than they look lol!

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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
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GotButterflies
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Re: Re-New to Crabbing!

Post by GotButterflies » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:27 pm

Your crab will be fine :) Hermit crabs are also known as tree crabs :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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